No matter where you are from, golf is universal. The mind-over-strength game is popular all over the world, and this week, that worldly popularity was brought to the Northern Amateur Golf Championship and Longest Drive Competition hosted by Sand Creek Country Club. Out of the 93 players on the green for the tournament, about thirty of them were not from the United States, but rather came from all over the world.
The Northern Amateur Golf Championship and Longest Drive Competition have been held at Sand Creek Country Club since 1983. It invites young players from around the world to participate in a competitive game of golf, while also giving the chance to meet new people and experience a shared love of golf.
John Lyras, a player from Australia, was very excited to be here in the United States. Lyras has travelled from Atlanta to Rochester, New York to Houston, Texas to Charleston, South Carolina to Columbus, OH, and now to Chesterton.
“It’s my first time here in the States,” he said. “I’ve been here for about eight weeks traveling to different golf tournaments. I’ve loved every minute of it here. It's been a really great experience. It’s been fantastic to come out here and play in the U.S. fields, because they play a different type of golf over here. It's been really eye opening and I've been really impressed with the way the go out improving everyday.”
His travelling companion, Andrew Richards, was also very excited to be here.
“I’ve been in the States before for high school, but not for any golf tournaments. It’s mine and John’s first Northern Amateur so we’re excited,” Richards said. “For me, the tournament is going well. Didn’t play too fresh out there today but I’m feeling alright. Just need to go out there and put the ball in the hole.”
He does enjoy the company and hospitality that everyone has offered though.
“One thing you realize at every tournament is how generous and giving people are. Every tournament I’ve been at so far I’ve been housed and taken care care. We really appreciate it and how nice people have been.”
The players weren’t the only people happy to be attending this annual event. Donna Howell and Chuck Welter from Valparaiso First Insurance, who sponsored the event, were also present. Howell, who is a Sand Creek Country Club member and the 2017 Women’s Club Champion, was thrilled to volunteer her time for the Club and a sport she loves so much.
“I love the game, and I’m a member here as well,” Howell said. “I love seeing people getting involved in the game.”
Welter has been involved with the Northern Amateur for the past seven years and has a long history of golf. Not only is he a member at Sand Creek, but he competed in the Northern Amateur years ago and was also President of the Indiana Golf Association in 1994 and 1995. He loves the game of golf and is trying to give back to the game for what it’s done for him.
“We’re very proud of Sand Creek Country Club and the effort they put forth to bring an international field here,” Welter said. “It’s great to introduce a diverse group to the community. It's enjoyable to watch the game and players progress.”
For more information about Sand Creek Country Club, please visit www.sandcreek.com.